Hammonton begins work on solar panel project - NBC40.net

Hammonton begins work on solar panel project

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Construction is underway and by late summer, nearly three thousand solar panels will be a part of Hammonton.

The project will power the Wastewater Treatment Plant while pulling down electric bills and lessening the town's carbon footprint.

The former site of the old Wastewater Treatment Plant is soon to become its source of energy.

Town officials expect solar panels to be installed by summer's end and hope to see a major impact on the town's electric bill.

"Our plant probably costs somewhere in the neighborhood of two to 300 thousand dollars in electric and this should save about 30 to 40 thousand a year now and after year fifteen probably ninety percent of that bill," said Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato.

The Mayor says the panels are a 30 million dollar project from Hudson Energy but officials say a fifteen-year lease and purchase power agreement results in no money from the town of Hammonton going into the project.

"We sign a fifteen year agreement to purchase power from them, it's a called a purchase power agreement or PPA for short," said councilman and former chair of the Green Committee Dan Bachalis.

 "That power comes to us a reduced rate then what we would ordinarily get from an electric company."

Workers say 2,904 solar panels will be installed in the project.

"It will be a massive benefit to the town and Wastewater Treatment Company. I know bills have been going up but this is one way bills will be going down once this comes online," said Bachalis.

Around Hammonton residents are excited to see the town going green while saving some money.

"I think it's a great idea. It will save a lot of energy. Go green," said resident Mark Torres.

There are some private solar panels around town but this project will be the town's first experience with solar energy.

"It saves on our carbon footprint for the town of Hammonton  and it takes electric off the grid which is good for all of us," said Mayor DiDonato.

Hammonton officials say they have also been cutting back on electric costs through the use of energy efficient light bulbs. Councilman Bachalis hopes this project will help encourage bringing more solar panels to town.

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